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Hynix gets out tiny NAND cell

Mine's smaller than yours

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While flash fabs are producing 20nm-class product Hynix has gone one better, planning to present a 15nm flash geometry at the next International Electron Devices Meeting.

A 20nm-class flash die is made using a process between 29nm and 20nm. The smaller the process, the more flash dies can be obtained from a wafer and, it follows, the lower the cost per die. But also, and here's the rub, the lower the endurance. It's up to controller suppliers to raise their game and overcome this, which they have done as last year's 30nm-class geometries have given way to this year's 20nm-class ones.

EETimes reports that Hynix has stepped forward and stuck a stake in the ground for sub-20nm-class NAND technology, the first flash manufacturer to do so. It will discuss details of its 15nm NAND cell at IEDM.

The company will also present details of a new Phase Change Memory (PCM) process, a 42nm one. PCM is a potential NAND successor technology that is said to combine the non-volatility of flash, the speed of DRAM, and the ability to be denser than flash.

Other contenders for the post-NAND crown include HP's Memristor, which Hynix is involved in, IBM's racetrack memory, and spin-transfer torque RAM which Samsung is working on.

Hynix share deal

In other Hynix news the STX ship-building and shipping group of South Korea has exited bidding for a 20 per cent stake in Hynix. This means SK Telecom is the sole bidder and would need to spend $2.7bn if it bought the 146.1 million shares needed to make up 20 per cent at current share prices.

The shares are being sold by investors in Hynix who are also creditors of the company. They obtained their stakes when Hynix nearly went bust in 2001, and this, apparently, is their third attempt to get cash for their shares. SK Telecom should be able to negotiate a lower price for the shares than the current trading price as it is the sole bidder.

Reuters reported on the ongoing California Superior Court suit – where Rambus is facing off against Hynix and Micron – here. ®

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